The Income Tax Department has seized two bank accounts of former India cricketer and now a Minister in the Captain Amarinder Singh’s cabinet in Punjab.
The department reportedly has tax dues over ₹58 lakh pending against the cricket-turned-politician.
The action is initiated as Sidhu has failed to provide supporting bills for the expenditure claimed in in his Income Tax returns for the assessment year 2014-15. Sidhu in the disputed return had claimed professional expenses for travel (₹38 lakh), clothing (₹28 lakh), employees’ salaries (₹ 47 lakh) and fuel (₹18 lakh). However, during the scrutiny process, he has not been able to provide adequate bills to support his claimed expenses.
The IT Department has initiated the process to seal the ex-cricketer’s bank accounts after reportedly serving him three notices for recovery. Sidhu, however, has insisted that he has been filing his tax returns diligently. Sidhu has also claimed that he has never defaulted in the past 10 years.
The IT Department, however, had noted that Sidhu had failed to provide documentary evidence, such as bills or invoices in support of his claim during the course of assessment proceedings. Since the authenticity of the transactions could not be established, 30% of the total expenses were disallowed in order to prevent leakage of revenue.
“The assessee had gone in to appeal against the order on January 17 last year, but the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals) had passed the order favouring the revenue and not provided any relief to the assessee, as he had failed to provide any documentary evidence in support of his claim,” an IT Department official statement noted.
Sidhu, who had joined Congress after quitting the Bharatiya Janta Party, in the past too had been dogged by controversies. In 2006, he had also faced a three-year jail term I a road rage death case. However, the Supreme Court had turned down his conviction.